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Italy: New Provisions Amending the Civil Protection Code Take Effect

(Mar. 30, 2020) On February 27, 2020, Legislative Decree No. 4 of February 6, 2020 (L.D. No. 4), amending Legislative Decree No. 1 of January 2, 2018, the Code of Civil Protection (C.P.C.) entered into force in Italy. (Decreto Legislativo 6 febbraio 2020, n. 4, Disposizioni Integrative e Correttive del Decreto Legislativo 2 gennaio 2018, n. 1, recante: “Codice della Protezione Civile.”)

New Provisions on National Emergencies

The new legislation grants specific powers to the Ministry for Cultural Assets and Activities and Tourism to manage activities to secure and safeguard the cultural heritage in case of emergencies resulting from natural disasters. (L.D. No. 4, art. 8(1)(a), amending C.P.C. art. 13.) It also provides that during emergencies, military personnel may carry out work—including temporary work—to assist affected persons. (L.D. No. 4, art. 8(1)(c), amending C.P.C. art. 13.)

Additionally, the decree states that national emergency directives must also define the metholodogy for connecting the emergency plans crafted for the national transportation insfrastructure that delineate assistance to the population with the plans approved by the different territorial levels—namely communes, provinces, metropolitan cities, and regions. (L.D. No. 4, art. 12(1)(b), amending C.P.C., art. 18.)

It also indicates that any funds from the Fund for National Emergencies left unspent after the expiration of the period or event for which they were authorized must be reallocated to the national budget of the state. (L.D. No. 4, art. 18(1)(d), amending C.P.C. art. 27, para. 6.)

Amendments to the National Civil Protection System

The decree provides that the National Civil Protection Operational Committee is to be chaired by the head of the Civil Protection Department and composed of representatives of the regions and local authorities, plus the Unified Conference and other operational entities at the national level. (L.D. No. 4, art. 9(b), amending C.P.C. art. 14, para. 4.) The National Civil Protection Service has the primary responsibility of managing the public alarm system established in Legislative Decree No. 259 of August 1, 2003, Electronic Communications Code, art. 1, para. 1(ee-bis). (L.D. No. 4, art. 11(1)(b), amending C.P.C. art. 17, para. 2 (b).)

Other Provisions

The decree also provides that voluntary organizations that participate in long-term activities or interventions abroad may receive reimbursements in advance from the government authority that authorized the activities. (L.D. No. 4, art. 20(1)(a), amending C.P.C., art. 40, para. 1.)